A bucket list item for as long as Instagram has been around; a Ha Long Bay cruise.
We spent a few days looking up cruises around the bay and decided that a 2 day, 1-night stay was best for our schedule. Something I later regretted and wished we spent an extra day and night. We decided on Peony Cruise managed by Orchid Cruise since they claimed to have new boats.
Newer boats actually meant refurbished boats.
On the night of the stay there was a major storm in the bay. A storm that caused us to wake up to a flooded room. In one corner of the room by the bathroom door, there was about 2 inches of water from the flood.
It was about 5 am and I tried calling the front desk for help. No answer. I walk downstairs to find no one at the front desk. I walk around the boat looking for any available crew member to help. When I finally found one, I realized multiple rooms were flooded.
It took several guys to scoop the water out manually with buckets. They apologized for the troubles and by the end of the trip, we were compensated by voiding our bar tab.
Due to the flood, I got up early and caught the sunrise in Ha Long Bay and it amazing. It starts with the glowing lights of other boats anchored nearby into a subtle blue and then into its signature emerald green.
The 2 days, 1-night cruise seemed pretty rushed.
On the second morning before returning to dock, we had a quick walk around Cat Ba Island. The entire Cat Ba Island tour must have been no more than 3 hours including the time to get there by boat and then by bus. This is why I would recommend doing the 3 days, 2 nights tour.
Overall, the trip was amazing and it’s definitely something I would recommend anyone doing if they’re ever in Vietnam. Go on a Ha Long Bay cruise, just do yourself a favor and stay the extra night.
Read more about my trip to Vietnam here.